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Tākai resources you can use with whānau to explore their child's developing autonomy.

Pēpi is developing autonomy and a ‘mind of their own’. They may be determined to do certain things and start expressing their likes and dislikes, sometimes quite strongly.

Tākai resources

In the Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 3 on page 23 in ‘Ngā tohu whānau’ under ‘Love and warmth’, it says ‘our pēpi will want to make some decisions for herself now. We can let her practise choosing between two things.’

Some other helpful places in Te Pihinga 3 to explore with whānau are:

  • Page 3 – ‘Pēpi says: I like to try and feed myself. Look at me!’
  • Page 6 – ‘Whānau say: We have started to give her finger foods. She loves the chance to feed herself.’
  • Page 10 – ‘Ngā mahi a pēpi: Let pēpi take the lead when you read pukapuka together…She may…choose one she wants.’
  • Page 17 – ‘Whānau say: We see her using “trial and error” to solve simple problems. If something doesn’t work, she’ll try another way.’

In the booklet The World of Under-fives on page 4 is ‘Ten basics for a fair and firm approach’. Number 9 suggests, ‘Ask them what they think and give them simple choices.’

Page 6 reminds us to ‘Balance independence with limits’ and ‘Give limited choices’.

The booklet The Tricky Bits has a similar message on page 7, with tips for surviving the supermarket, ‘Involve them by giving them choices.’

Conversation starters

Ask the whānau:

  • How do these ideas match your child’s behaviour at the moment?
  • What changes have you noticed?
  • Why do you think that’s happening?
  • How has this affected you and your whānau?
  • In what ways have you noticed your child becoming more independent?
  • Do they want to make their own decisions?
  • What happens when they disagree with what you want them to do?
  • Shall we come up with some strategies for tricky situations together?
  • What times with your child have been exciting, fun or made you celebrate?
  • Have you had challenges with your child?
  • What would you like to talk about?
  • What more would you like to find out about?

Helpful resources for whānau